NCAA allows unlimited snacks

John F. Silver

UConn point guard Shabazz Napier, a two-time national champion, has always been outspoken.

Napier always has a way of dramatizing his situation and speaks with such passion that the point he makes is hard to ignore.

So, it wasn’t a shock when Napier talked about going to bed hungry some nights while he was in college.

The reason? No money for snacks because he can’t hold a job, and access to dining halls was closed.

Extra late night snacks? Those were against NCAA rules.

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Reports: American men’t tourney to XL Center

John F. Silver

The capitol of the college basketball is the State of Connecticut, and the American Athletic Conference is capitalizing on it 

Via my co-worker Neill Ostrout at the Journal Inquirer, the American men’s basketball tournament will be played at the XL Center in March.

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Where does this UConn men’s team rank?

SNY’s Steve Gelbs, Vin Parise, and Tarik Turner discuss the UConn men’s historic run to the title and where this Huskies team ranks in the school’s history.

Awaiting team at Gampel, Napier’s final sendoff

John F. Silver

STORRS, Conn. — Become a first team All-American, win a national title, get your uniform immediately on the Huskies of Honor wall.

Yes, Shabazz Napier and Kemba Walker have followed the exact same path in that regards.

UConn is set for a 5 p.m. rally at Gampel Pavilion to honor the men’s basketball team’s fourth national title.

Crowds started to lineup up over an hour before the doors opened for the rally.

During the championship banner raising ceremony, which Kevin Ollie promised to students on March 5 after a win over Rutgers.

“I’m planning to come back here in April and raise a banner,” Ollie said three days and a month ago.

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Ollie: We are born for this

John F. Silver

So much for wanting to be the guy who replaced the legend instead of replacing the legend.

If you wanted the UConn job, but wanted to get some distance from the Jim Calhoun era, your chance as UConn coach might be over for some time.

UConn will arrive home today and head to Gampel Pavilion for a championship rally. they should be prepared, because Ollie told the students and fans in early March that they would be back there.

Ollie is in his second year as coach and the thing is, the hardest part is done.

He replaced a legend, proved his worth on the sideline, has recruited and stabilized the program getting it through a postseason ban etc.

Ollie is a young coach and can related to UConn alumni and NBA guys, and to the high school kid in his living room. With him at the helm, UConn’s a great job against.

UConn isn’t some middling program. It’s what it’s always been, even as a No. 7 seed. Ollie saw it when none else did.

“Somebody told me we were Cinderella,” Ollie said. “I was like, ‘No, we’re UConn.’ I mean, this is what we do. We are born for this. We’re bred to cut down nets.”

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Shabazz Napier Now Stands Apart Among UConn Guards With 2 Rings

Originally posted on

NapierARLINGTON, Texas — Of all the great point guards in the history of the UConn program, Shabazz Napier now stands apart.

With his Most Outstanding Player performance in UConn’s 60-54 victory over Kentucky at AT&T Stadium, Napier now has two NCAA championship rings, one more than Khalid El-Amin, Taliek Brown and yes, even the great Kemba Walker, too.

They were the point guards on UConn’s three previous championship teams in 1999, 2004 and 2011.

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Ollie, Napier deliver fourth national title

John F. Silver

Kevin Ollie has been the UConn men’s basketball coach for 18 months.

He called it the best job in America when he took it.

Many would disagree. Replacing a Hall of Fame coach, realignment leaving the Huskies behind, an NCAA tournament ban looming.

The best job in America? It was the hardest job in America.

And Ollie handled it flawlessly.

Shabazz Napier wanted to be Kemba Walker.

His first foray at it was an abysmal failure. If it ended there, it would have been a good career nonetheless for Napier.

But something about Napier and Ollie clicked. The father on the bench, and the coach on the court.

Ollie replaced Jim Calhoun and Napier replaced Kemba.

The sequel was better than the original.

Where did it end up?

UConn’s fourth national championship on Monday, 60-54 over Kentucky, puts the program in the elite class.

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